Wine of the Week – Let me make this easy for you. The 2012 Torre de Golban Reserva from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region is seriously awesome and easily one of the best values in its category! 100% Tinto Fino (the local name for Tempranillo) from 60 to 80 year old vines, 18 months aging in high quality French oak barriques, just 367 cases for the entire world, and it’s less than $25!
I should start the story by telling you about Ribera del Duero and why it is such a unique and special zone for Tempranillo. This high desert plateau 2 hours northwest of Madrid gets steaming hot in the summer and frigidly cold in the winter. Temperatures can easily surpass 100 degrees during the growing season, only to drop into the 50’s at night. These severe temperature swings would destroy most crops, but these hearty old Tempranillo vines thrive under these conditions yielding grapes with powerful personalities and intricate flavors. Similarly, the rocky, rugged, and dry conditions of Ribera del Duero cause the vines to struggle, intensifying flavors and adding structure to the wines.
That is why some of Spain’s and the world’s top wineries have set up shop here. Atalayas de Golban is owned by and the neighbor to Dominio de Atauta, one of Ribera del Duero’s, Spain’s, and the world’s elite estates. To produce the Torre de Golban Reserva, the estate’s top red wine, the winery uses 100% Tinto Fino from their oldest and highest altitude vineyards. Tinto Fino is the name of the local clone of Tempranillo found in Ribera del Duero; heartier, thicker skinned, and more resilient than other clones of Tempranillo, it thrives in this inhospitable environment. The winery ages the wine for 18 months in French oak barrels, followed by an additional 2 years of aging in bottle before release.
The resulting wine is a big one and one that can be consumed now or over the next 4 to 5 years. It’s a little shy right out of the gate, so it’s not a bad idea to decant this one or pour it into your glass for a 10 minute “breather.” Once it opens, it is a symphony of aromas and flavors that will delight the palates of Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux lovers……..or those who like big, strong, powerful wines. Assertively dark fruited (blackberry, black currant, black cherry) with background notes of tobacco, spice box, coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate, this could easily pass for a good Left Bank Bordeaux or mountain-grown Napa or Sonoma Cabernet.
Trust me folks, if you like bigger, more structured, and more savory wines that work wonders with grilled meats, this one is for you. As I said in the opening lines, I ordered the last 10 cases from my distributor and this one won’t last long. Stop by and pick some up or email me and I’ll be glad to hold your wine for you through the end of the sale period. Cheers and happy eating and drinking in Asheville, NC.
Owner/Operator at Table Wine